Ziegler Group focuses on flexible Sawmill and logistics solutions
With its headquarters in Bavaria, the Ziegler Group is well established in the timber and sawmill sector, not only because it operates Europe’s largest sawmill, but also because the family-run company repeatedly draws attention with its forward-thinking innovations. These include a state-of-the-art log yard which opened in the past year. With a total of 12 machines now in operation, SENNEBOGEN’s timber handling technology has been a constant and reliable presence in the Ziegler Group for many years, and not only in the log yard.
Founded in 1948 as a sawmill, Ziegler can look back on an eventful 70-year history as a family-run company. With around 1,000 employees at various locations around the globe, the Group has recorded impressive growth in recent years in particular. It employs more than 500 staff at Europe’s largest sawmill alone, which can be found in the tranquil location of Betzenmühle in the northern Upper Palatinate region of Germany.
And this is where today’s visit is taking us. It’s here that the company, which processes an impressive 1.8 million solid cubic meters of sawn timber every year, has its roots. An issue that has really come to dominate is logistics, as Fabian Hummel explains during our visit. He tells us that this is why Ziegler has had its own state-of-the-art container and handling terminal at the rail station in nearby Wiesau since 2011. Employing 120 own trucks and a further 70 subcontractors, Ziegler Logistik GmbH transports wood and other goods from the terminal to locations all over the world.
Efficient handling solutions are critical in this context, and it is for this reason that Ziegler has been using SENNEBOGEN material handlers for log handling for around 15 years.
Logistics terminal in Wiesau: Two SENNEBOGEN 818 E for loading logs
Just how much timber is moved by Ziegler on a daily basis is best illustrated at the site in Wiesau. Ziegler Logistik handles approximately 25,000 containers at the modern terminal every year, and this number is on the rise. Every day, a freight train travels between Wiesau and Hamburg/Bremerhaven taking containers of sawn timber for export and bringing back logs for the mill from the local area and beyond.
Two new SENNEBOGEN 818 E material handlers delivered by sales and service partner IBS Industrie- u. Baumaschinen Service GmbH in 2017 unload the stake cars on arrival and load trucks that transport the logs to the mill some 20 km away. The two 818 E machines with undercarriage are equipped with a 1.25 m² log grab and 9 m long equipment. Powered by a tier 4 97 kW diesel engine, the material handler is designed for demanding, continuous operation.
The requirement for low noise emission values was a key criterion, as Florian Fischer (IBS GmbH) explains: “Due to the central location of the station, we needed machines that are particularly eco-friendly and quiet, despite the challenges of continuous operation and heavy loads. The SENNEBOGEN 818 proved to be the right machine for our customer. Thanks to its state-of-the-art engine technology, its noise emission values are significantly below the legal limits set in the Noise Emission Directive 2000/14/EC.”
A particular plus point for drivers is the Maxcab, which can be elevated to a height of 5.80 m eye level to provide an ideal overview of the working and loading areas at all times.
The green log yard: Nine 735 material handlers in action at the sorting line
Back in Betzenmühle, it is impossible to miss the booms of the green Pick & Carry machines in the log yard. Yard manager Klaus Mayerhöfer has a total of nine type 735 machines in operation, taking care of box removal, transportation, and sorting in the various woodpiles along the three sorting conveyors. The machines are sometimes also required to assist with unloading the 350 trucks that deliver daily to the sawmill.
The reliable 735 material handlers work in two-shift operation and some have already clocked up as many as 40,000 operating hours. Klaus Mayerhöfer tells us that this impressive record is not least credit to the excellent service provided by IBS GmbH, whose team carries out regular maintenance work and supplies spare parts.
In 2017, two new 735 machines from the current E series were added to the machine park. They are equipped with a 224 kW diesel engine, variable all-wheel drive, and 11 m long handling equipment attached with a 2.0 m² or 2.5 m² SENNEBOGEN log grab.
“It is no coincidence that we have been working together with SENNEBOGEN and IBS for so many years. The provision of tailor-made products to meet our timber handling requirements is of course important, but the fact that the machines are so reliable and easy to maintain is also vital for our workflows. Processes that work in perfect harmony are indispensable if we are to continue to develop and expand our portfolio of products and services as a multinational family-run company. SENNEBOGEN machines help us to optimize our logistics processes every single day”. Fabian Hummel, Ziegler Group